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March 3, 2021

Indian Air Force to participate in multinational exercise Desert Flag

The Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has announced that the Indian Air Force (IAF) will take part in the Exercise Desert Flag-VI.

The Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has announced that the Indian Air Force (IAF) will take part in the Exercise Desert Flag-VI.

The country is participating for the first time in the exercise and will join the airforces of France, the US, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Bahrain.

Starting on 3 March, the exercise will run until 27 March at Al-Dhafra airbase in the UAE.

According to a statement issued by the MoD, the IAF will participate with six Su-30 MKI, two C-17 and one IL-78 tanker aircraft in the exercise.

The Sukhoi Su-30MKI is a multirole combat fighter aircraft jointly developed by the Sukhoi Design Bureau and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for IAF.

In the exercise, this aircraft will undertake long-range ferry, routing directly from India to the exercise location with ‘aerial refuelling support’ from IL-78 tanker aircraft.

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Meanwhile, the C-17 Globemaster III military airlift aircraft is a high-wing, four-engine, T-tailed military transport vehicle that can carry payloads of up to 169,000lb.

It will provide support for ‘induction/ de-induction of the IAF contingent’ in the Exercise Desert Flag-VI.

The MoD said in a statement: “Over the last decade, IAF has regularly hosted and participated in multi-national operational exercises, wherein collaborative engagements are undertaken amongst the best air forces of the world.”

The exercise is aimed at providing the participating personnel with ‘operational exposure’ to a realistic warfare environment to improve their operational capabilities.

The troops will undertake ‘simulated air combat operations in a controlled environment’.

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